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Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Who knew Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 would turn out so well? This Midway treasure does a great job of proving that Mortal Kombat 3 holds up well when put up against its 3D counterpart. It still has a few problems, but for now it can rest easy as the single best 2D fighter on the Xbox Live Arcade! Rating: 57%
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
  • Review Score:

  • C+
Despite the fact that I'm a huge fan of fighting games, I never really put much time into Mortal Kombat 3. I enjoyed the original Mortal Kombat for what it was and I loved the second game because of its mythology and dark atmosphere, but I never could get into the third and final 2D sequel. There was just something about it that made me shy away; perhaps it was the dial-a-combo game play and the more lighthearted mood. Over the past ten years I have been vocal in my support for Mortal Kombat II, often treating the third installment like a bad dream. I am just not that into Mortal Kombat 3.

But maybe I have been wrong all these years. Maybe my impressions of Mortal Kombat 3 were clouded by my disappointment that it wasn't more like the far-superior Mortal Kombat II. Maybe I've just been too tough on this fighting game. Now that Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is on the Xbox Live Arcade I knew I had a chance to give this sequel a second shot, maybe ten years time is enough to reset my own bias and give the game a fair shake.

The very first thing I noticed while playing Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is how fresh it felt. These days it's rare for a 2D fighting game to feel fresh to me, I've played so many of them over the years that it's easy for me to just take their stale game play for granted. While I enjoyed playing Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting on the Xbox Live Arcade I couldn't shake the familiarity of it. But I've barely played Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 in the past ten years; I didn't even remember that there was a Run button.

As you might expect, this Xbox Live Arcade version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is a direct port of the 1995 arcade game. The game looks, sounds, and feels exactly like it did eleven years ago when it cost fifty cents to play. Now it's a one-time $10 investment on the Xbox 360, not a bad deal when you consider all of the content you get in this download.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 isn't a sequel, per se. The game acted as the upgrade (or expansion pack) to 1994's Mortal Kombat 3. Ultimate added new levels, new characters and a bunch of new fatalities. It took what was good about the original game and refined the rest to make a complete package full of mysteries and secrets. Of course, seeing as this is the only Mortal Kombat title available on the Xbox Live Arcade it doesn't matter if this is an expansion pack or not, what you're getting is the most complete version of Mortal Kombat 3 available.
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